Sarah’s Broccoli, Chilli & Lemon Pasta

Food, Photography, Recipes

Hello lovely readers,

First of all I’d like to thank everyone for their kind responses to last weeks post. I am aiming to be more open and honest on this blog, and just be me, as that’s what it’s all about right? This was the first time I received so many comments from people that actually know me in person, and it was so lovely to know that I have your support and to all the graduates out their, knowing we are in the same boat is tough, and like Daisy said, it’s like being in the middle of a stormy ocean, which is on fire haha but I promise you if we stick it out we will get to where we want to be! So thank you, I’m more positive this week and know that good things will come.

A quote springs to mind of a card I have siting in a frame in my room that my best friend Ally gave me, it says “She waited patiently until happiness surrounded her and good luck lay in piles at her feet. Help yourself she said kindly, good things come to those who wait.”

Last weekend as you know I decided to go and visit my friend Daisy in Nottingham, and I had a lovely time. It was just what I needed to get away from the stress, clear my head and come back to London fighting. It was certainly filled with food & alcohol, so this weeks recipe is a lighter one. On the saturday, we went for lunch at The Pudding Pantry, and then out for dinner to Annie’s a burger joint, then out for cocktails. Sunday we went to the Nottingham Food Festival at Wollaton.We were extremely lucky with the weather and saw John Whaite, and Lisa Faulkner do a cookery demonstration, ate lots of lovely food including BBQ slow cooked brisket, pulled pork, mac and cheese, and churros, washed down with some Pimm’s! This week I have been applying for jobs & internships, keeping fit to burn off all those calories and keeping positive.

As promised, this weeks recipe is inspired by one of my close friends, Sarah. Through university, particularly in our third year we shared a love of healthy, tasty and experimental dishes. I taught her a few things, as did she, and we also learnt that you can’t make icing for chocolate protein cookies from hot chocolate powder, out of date margarine, milk and water. It doesn’t work, don’t even try it. Ha! Sarah is one of those people who has such a positive outlook on life, really wants the best for herself, and others. She really drives me, and understands my ambitions and helps me to be the best I can. She constantly shares these posts to her friends and circles, and for that I am extremely grateful, so without further ado, here is the recipe…

Recipe Card Final

To keep up to date with my foodie adventures and the occasional selfie please follow my instagram @mariablackstone and for pointless tweets follow me on twitter @mariablackstone (obviously extremely original on the user name front).

I hope you like this recipe, its light and fairly healthy with the half fat creme fraiche, and brown pasta. I couldn’t resist a bit of naughty bacon, plus it looks nice. It makes a change from my love of everything indulgent, and I sure do need it after the weekend I’ve had. If you have any ideas for future recipes, please do drop me a message! I am off out to Prezzo’s tonight for dinner with the girls and will then be back on my job applications at full speed!

Speak to you all next week,

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,

Maria x

Blood Orange & Beetroot Salad

Food, Photography

This is the third in a growing photography series inspired by recipes, which I then deconstruct, arrange and photograph. This particular image was inspired by an Abel & Cole recipe for a beautiful blood orange and beetroot salad. Blood oranges are beautiful at this time of year. I made the recipe, with a few of my own additions to use up left overs (roast chicken and chorizo, avocado etc) and can say it was super tasty indeed.

Blood Orange & Beetroot

See my website for further information on this series, and my other work.

www.mariablackstone.co.uk¬†and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to purchase any prints.

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,
Maria x

Fireworks Night

Baking, Food, Recipes

On the 8th November, we had our local firework display. I hadn’t been to this in a few years as I was always at university, but luckily I was home this weekend. So I asked mum if we could do what we used to always do, and have a dinner party after the display with close friends. On the Friday, I got up and made homemade chilli con carne, two huge pots of it. As always we do too much. I also made some chocolate pastry for a tart I wanted to make which was a recipe from Tom Kerridge’s series ‘Best Ever Dishes’. Click here to view and make the recipe yourself. I used the pastry recipe, and the chocolate filling recipe, but changed up the decoration, as I wanted to keep it to an autumnal theme bearing in mind the occasion. This, for me is the great thing about cooking. You can take a recipe and use it as a base and experiment and change up the decoration to give it your own personal creative flare, make it your own.

Using the spare egg whites, left over from the pastry I decided to make some meringue mushrooms. I had an idea influenced by the Meringue Girls, and also Rachel Khoo’s recipe to make a ‘forest floor’. So I piped out mushrooms and dusted the tops with cocoa powder. I then assembled the bases and tops using a bit of left over ganache, once they were baked. I assembled the tart the next day.

The Saturday afternoon after our trip to London, we prepared some mini roast potatoes with rosemary, homemade guacamole, homemade salsa, and served all this with a salad, green beans, rice and sour cream with some fresh bread from Bread Ahead that we bought at the market earlier in the day. I then assembled my tart, by pouring the ganache in the case, adding the mushrooms, and added some crushed up pastry (trimmings) and some crushed amaretti biscuits to look like soil, and added some tiny mint leaves. Because of the amaretto liquor, this would go great as a dessert or a slice with coffee. It is rich and indulgent. Mum also made her signature lemon meringue pie, which always goes down a treat. After a few bottles of wine, some lovely food and lots of conversation with dear friends, they left and we headed to bed after clearing up.

Below is my tart.

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,

Maria x